Thursday, 31 July 2008

knitting and flowers

I've just spent a very enjoyable and satisfying morning seaming together my Jacob wool cardigan. I just need to get a zip and then finish off the collar and it can be done. It's about time this was finished as I started it in February 2008.

I've recently cast on two new projects: The first is the seascape stole from the summer issue of knitty. I'm knitting it using some of the mountain of yarn that Cecilie brought back from China.

And the second is Vinnland socks. I wasn't intending to start a second project until I'd finished the Jacob cardigan, but Cecilie wanted a toe up starting session - so I think I confused both her and Quinn in the ways of Judy's magic cast on . I think we may need another session, but I still believe this is one of the best ways to start toe up socks - I'm not so keen on the provisional cast on way. Anyway, again I'm using some Chinese yarn (this will be a theme for a little while!). As you can see I'm trying two at once using magic loop - the longest 2.5mm circular needle I have is 80cm, but I think I'm going to invest in a longer one as it's all a bit squashed.

We were away last weekend in the UK, we met up with friends and family, we also took a visit to the original Monkey House.... I must say it's looking decidedly like a rental property now, which is a shame. I was hoping to take a trip to get knitted but I was too busy catching up with friends and ran out of time. Never mind, it was not as if I needed any yarn anyway. I didn't take any knitting with me as we travelled with hand luggage only and it's not worth the risk of trying to take knitting needles through security in the UK.

When we got back our garden was properly blooming:

from top left, clockwise: Dahlia (Arabian Knight), Calendula, Bergamot, Lily (Samur)

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Buds and flowers

Earlier in the week I meant to blog about the lilies I planted, but I got sidetracked by other things so didn't.

I planted the lilies a few months ago as sprouting bulbs bought at one of our local garden centres. They're the variety Samur.

They've been growing well since then and have had green buds for a few weeks, the buds of the lily that gets the most sun each day were showing signs of pink earlier this week.

And now the same lily has started to flower.

They're a really girly pink, but if you're going to have something as flouncy as lilies, why not? I have more of them spotted around the garden, so hopefully over the next few weeks we'll get splashes of pink around the place.

Our garden isn't the most colourful, but this is a start.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Jacob cardigan update

Felicity Anne and I have been having a bit of a try on of the Jacob wool cardigan I've been knitting. I've been having a real push at this since the beginning of July and have managed to finish the second cabled front section and one sleeve. I thought it was worth pinning it together and seeing what it looks like.

Felicity Anne and I both like it. It has a lot of texture to it, with the cabled panels on the front and the twisted rib covering the rest of it. It's not a loose sloppy cardigan, but nicely fitted and flattering. The red and yellow bulldog clips on the front holding it together are where there will be a double ended zip (hopefully if I can find one).

What's left to do: second sleeve (cast on this morning), collar, blocking, seaming and finding and sewing in the zip.

Monday, 7 July 2008


These four strawberries represent our victory against the fieldfares:

Friday, 4 July 2008

Attack of the killer strawberries

As I'm sure I've said before - I'm trying to grow some fruit and veg to help support the monkey house kitchen. I'm a great believer in fresh and seasonal food and would much prefer to eat some fresh veg grown in the garden than some super duper organic product that's been shipped half way around the world. I like to stand back and get a little perspective on these things, and not be blinded by the organic = best mantra. That said, I've used a bit of fertiliser, but no bug sprays, or anything. I believe if there are bugs, there's always a predator that will come along eventually and eat them (hopefully before they've devoured my crop!).
Talking of crop devouring I had to ask David to make the strawberries a cage - not because they're vicious and were attacking the other plants, but because the fieldfare were attacking them.
David made a less sturdy version at first, but after a couple of days of looking at it, consulting the blue prints and waiting for a couple of strawberries to ripen, the fieldfare carried out an organised attack, found their way in and ate them. And so this cage was built. So far it's kept them out. We've only got two plants, and I want to be able to eat at least a couple of strawberries from them.